- Roch the wind in the clear day’s dawin
Blaws the cloods heelster-gowdie ower the bay
But there’s mair nor a roch wind blawin
Through the great glen o’ the warld the day.
It’s a thocht that will gar oor rottans
A’ they rogues that gang gallus, fresh and gay
Tak the road, and seek ither loanins
For their ill ploys, tae sport and play.
- Nae mair will the bonnie callants
Mairch tae war when oor braggarts crousely craw
Nor wee weans frae pit-heid and clachan
Mourn the ships sailing doon the Broomielaw,
Broken faimlies in lands we’ve herriet
Will curse Scotland the Brave nae mair, nae mair;
Back and white, ane til ither mairriet,
Mak the vile barracks o’ their maisters bare.
- So come a’ ye at hame wi’ Freedom,
Niver heid whit the hoodies croak for doom.
In your hoose a’ the bairns o’ Adam
Can find breid, barley-bree and painted room.
When Maclean meets wi’s freens in Springburn,
A’ thae roses and geens will turn tae bloom,
And a black lad frae yont Nyanga
Dings the fell gallows o’ the burghers doon.
Hamish Henderson composed The Freedom Come-All-Ye for CND demonstrators in 1960. It does not speak explicitly against nuclear weapons, but against the mindset that causes our society to go to war, and to harbour these weapons of mass destruction. He sees in this song the Scotland that John Maclean envisioned before him, a vision that the Scottish Peace covenant carries today: a place of freedom grounded in extending the hand of friendship rather than waging war.
The arrangement we sing is based on one by Glasgow women’s choir, Eurydice. The tune, is an adaptation of the First World War pipe march The Bloody Fields of Flanders , which Henderson first heard played on the Anzio beachhead. The original tune was written by John McLellan, D.C.M.
Dick Gaughan has some useful notes on the song, including an interpretation of the meaning in English.